Out my Window: Unexpected rain and cooler temps.
Listening to: Still listening to Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. It is on my Kindle so it is limiting to when I listen, but I am still enjoying it. I do wish I had a more portable device to finish this up. I am also listening to two songs on repeat that are soothing my soul and encouraging me to see light Tremble by Mosaic https://youtu.be/SzZZb6RbLJs and Prophesy your Promise by Bryan and Katie Torwalt https://youtu.be/MXb7-WommBY
Reading: Finished The Middle Matters by Lisa-Jo Baker there were some good pieces to it. I feel like it was a beautiful letter to her family, more so than to a reader, but I am a watcher and learn from others and I felt like there was some things to learn from peeking into Lisa-jo’s life. I think it might be a better fit for those who are middle aged moms with mid-age kids. That was me a few years back, but I am in a different season. Definitely a simple read, more bloggy in format.
Forty, I discover, is a new beginning, and my friends hold the door wide open for me. A welcome arrival into a time when we get to choose more of what we love and less of what we used to think matter…
(ideas from book she was reading The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, Christian Speaker, Aged 45 3/4) His (Adrian’s) reminder that Jesus genuinely likes us. Even on the days we’re disappointed in Him. Even on the days we cry and climb up into His lap like desperate, exhausted toddlers, with tears streaming down our red faces as we pound on His chest for all the ways we believe He’s let us down. Still He holds us. He lets us rage until we storm out all our fear and frustration and fall asleep in His arms, and He just holds us. Holds us and rocks us for as long as it takes to let all His love for us seep back into our bones.
Carry around book: Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale by Ian Morgan Cron. The storytelling is not as full and a bit cliche, but I am loving the processing of many writings and events connected with Francis of Assisi who has always fascinated me and challenged me.
By my bed: Re-reading Beholding and Becoming by Ruth Chou Simons (the hard copy). It is visually beautiful, and focusing in on life and challenging me to examine where my eyes are set. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43723843-beholding-and-becoming. I do recommend getting it for yourself and it would make a great gift. It releases September 10, but if you pre-order she has some lovely gifts. https://ruthchousimons.com/beholding-becoming/
Pondering/ Learning: Pondering and re-learning and practicing listening more intentionally. Listening on a deeper level. As I go for my schlogs I am trying to stop and look around to capture a piece of beauty with my camera but also with my ears. (I have started sharing this at https://www.instagram.com/inkblotlife.com_peggy/) Naming what I am hearing is causing me to listen deeper to all creation declaring God’s glory and goodness. This slows my brain and helps me remember that the one who spoke everything into being and then put skin on and walked in this world loves all the people I do and sees us. He has the power to send the darkness running and to order the chaos. Listening is strengthening my weak faith. This quote by Henri Nouwen came up in my fb memories this week and I was challenged again by it on interpersonal level, but this time also in my relationship with God.
To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.
Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very being. The beauty of listening is that those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even dare to be silent with you.
That line, “Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very being,” strikes me as the piece I need more fully with my relationship with God. It is easy to allow my thoughts and words to overtake my brain and heart, instead of being quick to listen and allowing Him to overtake my thoughts and settle my heart, not just verbally invite God into the situation or struggle, but to see He is already there and has something to say. He wants to speak peace into our time together.
Home: So I am practicing some new plumbing skills. The tub and the kitchen were slow draining. I had dranoed them a few times in the last bunch of months, but found out that there was a connection. When I heard a weird noise in the bathroom, I saw that the tub had filled up a bit… odd. Plunged… some success but no real resolution. Started with the chemicals… and then I went to do dishes in the kitchen not thinking that these were connected, but they are. My sink backed up so I plunged then heard noises in the bathroom… the tub was filling up with apparently the sink water… so I am now watching videos on how to use a plumbing snake. I am waiting patiently as I am trying a stronger chemical. I am probably poisoning my family as I mix all these chemicals. I hear some gurgles, but not a lot of progress. Hoping it will work itself out, if not I shall put the Youtube videos about snaking bathtub drains into use. Some were kind of entertaining if it wasn’t a skill I needed.
Fitness and Mental Health: A bit of schlogging, a bit of weights, plunging drains…. Mental Health.. taking pics, listening, and forming my thoughts for Instagram posts. Praying…
Giving Thanks: That my elder son was safe despite his car getting to an unsafe level. That we are taking a few days to head to the shore before the fall schedule begins. For God’s generous provisions. For friends to walk with through hard stuff. For an unexpected visit from a dear friend.